Welcome to the HSPVA Science Page!
Please look at the individual teacher websites on the left for further information, but if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school or an individual teacher using the staff directory.
Science Department Courses
Academic Biology I
This is a general survey course that presents the facts of biology within a pattern of unifying themes that helps students understand the larger significance of the details that they are learning. Examples of themes studied are natural selection, reproduction and inheritance, development, structure and function, energy relationships, ecology, and science and society. Emphasis is also placed on developing critical thinking, laboratory and writing skills. At the completion of two semesters of Biology I, students take a statewide end-of-course exam.
Pre AP Biology I
Pre AP Biology I is a pre-Advanced Placement level course designed for very capable science students who may wish to take AP Biology II. This course generally covers the same themes as the Biology I course, but it has correlation to contemporary molecular biology. Students are required to analyze and synthesize concepts and draw inferences from new information. Laboratory work is designed to emphasize investigation rather than illustration and greater emphasis is placed on independent thinking. At the completion of two semesters of Pre AP Biology I, students take a statewide end-of-course exam.
AP Biology II
This is a college-preparatory course designed for students who have taken Pre AP Biology I. Previous concepts studied in Pre AP Biology I and new concepts will be covered in greater detail. Greater emphasis will be placed on laboratory investigations. Students will be performing laboratory investigations included in the AP Biology curriculum as well as designing their own experiments.
Academic Chemistry I
Explore atoms, molecules and compounds…and learn the difference between all those terms! Practice working in the lab, gathering data, and coming to conclusions. This course is an introduction to the vast world of chemistry. Algebra skills are a must!
Pre AP Chemistry
Inquire into the world to understand how atoms for molecules and compounds that create everything we see…and can’t see. This is a fast-paced course that requires regular homework and study time. This course will prepare students for college General Chemistry. Good algebra skills are a must!
This is a college-preparatory course designed for students who have taken Pre AP Chemistry. Previous concepts studied in Pre AP Chemistry and new concepts will be covered in greater detail. Students will be performing laboratory investigations emphasized in preparation for the AP Chemistry Exam along with critical thinking skills.
Academic Physics is a first year comprehensive physics course covering all topics including but not limited to the following: Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Waves and Sound, Light and Optics, Electrostatics, and Electricity and Magnetism. It is intended for the the student who would like to learn physics more conceptually without an emphasis on the more complex math concepts. Labs and critical thinking are the foundation of this course.
Pre AP Physics
Pre AP Physics is a first year comprehensive physics course covering all topics present in Academic Physics with a greater emphasis on mathematical problem solving. It is also aligned with the SAT II subject test for students wishing to take a test at the end of the year. The course is intended for the student who has a strong background in math while also being given more autonomy during labs to figure out the solution with less instruction. Labs and complex problem solving are the foundation of this course.
AP Physics C: Mechanics / Electricity and Magnetism
AP Physics C is made up of two semester long physics courses combined into one year. The fall semester covers mechanics while the spring covers electricity and magnetism. While most concepts will have been covered in a prior physics courses, the depth and complexity of problem solving increases dramatically. Due to the mathematical demands of this course, students are required to have taken or be co-enrolled in calculus. Similarly, students must have completed a prior physics course in physics. AP Physics C may be tough, but work is excellent preparation for those interested in pursuing STEM fields in college. At the end of this course, students are expected to take both AP Exams.
Scientific Research and Design (aka Passion Project Course)
This Passion Project focuses on a year-long project in which students create a product that will be given back to the community. Students will be taught research, experimental design, how to collect and interpret data, graphing analysis, lab safety and ethics, and writing lab reports in a project based learning atmosphere. These basics will assist students to be college ready for science courses at university.
While learning the above basics, students will choose a topic to research and create a project they are passionate about. These projects will bring real world application into the science they are learning in the classroom. There are several checkpoints throughout the year so that students have an organized timeline for their project with the instructor as the project manager.